STANFORD, Calif. – Four Stanford football players – Ben Gardner, Trent Murphy, Shayne Skov and David Yankey – have earned mentions on two watch lists, the Butkus Award and the Rotary Lombardi Award, released Monday morning.
Murphy and Skov headline the day with the duo earning mention on both watch lists. Gardner and Yankey earned spots on the Lombardi Award watch list.
Instituted in 1985, the Butkus Award recognizes the nation’s most outstanding linebacker. An independent Butkus Award Selection Committee, headed by Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush and comprised of 51 experts including professional, college and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists, will conduct the selection process.
The Rotary Lombardi Award goes annually to the college football lineman — offense or defense — who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi.
The watch lists mentions are the latest in a slew of preseason recognitions for a talent-laden Stanford team.
Gardner, Murphy and Skov have all previously been named to the Bednarik Award watch list, presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year and the Bronko Nagurski Award watch list, presented to the best defensive player in college football.
Yankey has been previously named to The Maxwell Award Watch List, given to America's College Player of the Year, as well as the Outland Trophy, presented to the nation’s top interior lineman.
Gardner, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, started all 14 games at defensive end in 2012 and helped lead one of the nation's top defenses. He tied for second on the team in both tackles for a loss (14.5) and sacks (7.5).
Murphy, an AP third team All-America and Butkus Award semifinalist, was a frequent visitor in the backfield last season, when he led the Cardinal with 10.0 sacks and 18.0 TFL.
Skov returned to the lineup in 2012 after major knee surgery and returned to dominant form by season’s end. From family roots in Guadalajara, Mexico, Skov is firmly rooted as the program’s emotional leader. His numbers stack up as well as he totaled a team-leading 82 tackles (43 solo) with 7.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks from the inside linebacker spot in 2012 despite not being 100 percent.
One of the most dominant and versatile offensive linemen in the nation, Yankey goes into his senior campaign as a preseason candidate for numerous awards. He will move to left guard in 2013 after starting 14 games at left tackle in 2012, where he was named Consensus All-America selection. Yankey earned first team honors by the American Football Coaches Association and Sporting News while garnering second-team honors by the Associated Press. He was the 2012 Morris Trophy winner as the outstanding offensive lineman in the Pac-12 and has started 27 career games and three-year contributor.
The Butkus watch list includes 51 linebackers and semifinalists will be named in October, followed by the announcement of the finalists in late November. The award will be announced in early December.
The Rotary Club of Houston will announce a list of semifinalists on Nov. 7, trimming the list to a few finalists on Nov. 21. The 2013 Lombardi Award will be presented Dec. 11 in a ceremony at the Wortham Center in Houston, Texas.
Stanford’s season opens Sept. 7 with an 8 p.m. (PT) home game against a San Jose State team that won 11 games a year ago. The game will be televised nationally on Pac-12 Networks.
Season ticket holders are now able to purchase individual game tickets for all 2013 home games with a limited number of Mini-Plans on sale today, July 15. Inventory is expected to sell out quickly. Single-game tickets go on sale Aug. 1 with availability based on remaining interest after season ticket sales, which are at an all-time high with nearly 33,000 already sold. Fans are encouraged to visit GoStanford.com to buy season tickets.
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